How To Diagnose Black Mold Poisoning
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue, or even depression. Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly diagnosed as mold exposure. If you suspect you may be suffering from black mold poisoning you can get a blood test to verify it. There is also a skin prick allergy test where the doctor will apply a small amount of black mold to your skin. If you get hives, rash, or a breakout it means that you are allergic to the fungus.
How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
Bad Mold Vs Good Mold
Wondering whether some molds can be of any good like good bacteria? Yes. They are not bad always. Because of their pharmacological activity, some of the mycotoxins are useful as antibiotics.17 Under correct conditions, some molds are also used in the production of cheese. But, you cannot eat the fungi that grow on the cheese at home. They may result in allergic reactions. Outdoors, molds are considered to be a good thing. However, inside your home, if they find a sustainable food source to grow they become dangerous.
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What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
Treating Black Mold Poisoning
If you suspect youre suffering from symptoms associated with black mold exposure or poisoning, there are some things you can do to improve your health.
In conclusion, the best way to avoid the negative effects of black mold poisoning is to minimize your black mold exposure.
You can do this by preventing its growth in the first place. If its too late to prevent it and you suspect theres black mold already in your home, dont wait to book removal, completed quickly and efficiently by the industry experts.
Black mold, typically green or black, in your home, can be extremely hazardous to your health.
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What Happens If You Breathe In Black Mold
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. Similarly one may ask, can black mold kill you?
The short answer for most healthy people is no, black mold won’t kill you and is unlikely to make you sick.
Similarly, how bad is it to breathe in mold? Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. Mold spores are always found in the air we breathe, but extensive mold contamination may cause health problems. Breathing mold can cause allergic and respiratory symptoms. People with current respiratory conditions
Subsequently, one may also ask, how do you know if mold is making you sick?
Symptoms of mold exposure may include headache, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and fatigue. In those with asthma, asthma attacks can occur. In those with impaired immune systems, serious infection can occur.
What should you do if you are exposed to black mold?
Also, a solution of warm, distilled water and saline can help rinse your nasal passages of mold spores and remove congestion. Over-the-counter medications. Antihistamines, such as cetirizine or loratadine , reduce your immune system response, minimizing airway inflammation.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
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How Do You Get Treated For Black Mold
Its almost impossible to avoid all contact with fungal spores, so treatment for mold in your lungs often consists of taking medications. Corticosteroids often help open your airways to make coughing easier. You may need to take them daily or only when your symptoms flare. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or decongestants. These medications will help reduce the inflammation and keep the swelling down. Using a nasal spray to help rinse your nose of any black mold spores may be necessary. In severe cases, a medication called Montelukasst or allergy shots may be recommended.
How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Affect You
Personal experience at water jobs: Mold does not seem to grow on every job in 24 to 48 hours. Personal experience on mold jobs: The labs take 48 to 72 hours to grow mold under ideal conditions. Non-scientific experiment where mold was not visible until day 18. The guidance documents imply 24 to 48 hours for mold growth
Black Mold And Toxicity
When you read about molds, you may definitely want to know about black mold, as it is frequently singled out as the biggest culprit. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold is a greenish-black mold. It was thought to be the reason behind a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis among infants living in a water-damaged environment in Cleveland, Ohio. However, there is not much research to prove the association between acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants and exposure to molds, specifically stachybotrys chartarum.15 The guidelines from federal organizations suggest that mold growth, regardless of the type, should be controlled in an appropriate manner.16
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What Happens When You Breathe In Mold Spores
The human immune system is designed to react when foreign contaminants enter the body this is exactly what can happen when you breathe in mold spores. People who are asthmatic or allergic to mold may experience a more severe reaction than those who are not, but anyone can experience adverse symptoms after too much exposure to mold.
Mold spores can enter your airways through your nose and mouth, and they may irritate your exposed eyes and skin as well. Once the spores have made their way into your body, your immune system will try to get rid of them by eliciting a series of physical responses from you, such as coughing or sneezing. The intensity of these responses is mostly based on how sensitive you are to mold.
The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Redness and dry skin
- Asthma attack
Fortunately, mold exposure symptoms typically only last as long as the mold spores are present in your body. Once youve cleared away the mold in your home, bathed and circulated fresh, clean air throughout your respiratory system, the side effects should lessen within a day or two.
How Can I Remove Black Mold
If youre looking to get rid of the black mold yourself, here are some pointers to do it properly:
- Clean the area with soap, water, and a diluted bleach formula. Repeat this process for a few days thereafter to get any potentially missed spores in the area
- Replace appliances, furniture or parts of your house that have been affected
- Cover any susceptible walls or corners with mold-preventable paint
Be aware that black mold can spread quickly and invisibly. If you do not feel comfortable removing it yourself, or dont feel equipped to do so, consider reaching out to professionals to do it for you.
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How Can I Clean Moldy Surfaces
It is important to make sure that the source of moisture is fixed before the mold is cleaned up. If this is not done, the mold will grow again. How you clean up areas contaminated with mold depends on the surface where the mold is growing. A professional should be consulted if large areas are contaminated with mold. If the surface is non-porous , you can take the following steps:
- The surfaces first need to be cleaned:
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in warm water and scrub the entire area affected by the mold. Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces.
- Rinse clean with water.
- Dry completely.
- The next step, if desired, is to disinfect the surfaces to help kill any mold missed by the initial cleaning:
- Ventilate the area before using a disinfectant.
- Disinfect the area with a solution of water and bleach . Never mix bleach with ammonia the vapors are hazardous. Straight bleach will not be more effective.
- Let disinfecting areas air dry completely.
How To Prevent Mold Exposure
Denying them a place to grow is an important step in preventing mold. And for that, you need to control the moisture inside your home. You should make sure that your home and the workplace is free of visible mold growth or strong moldy odor. Here are a few tips for that.18
- Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep the humidity level low.
- Make sure that your floor and wall are dry after flooding.
- Fix water problems such as roof leaks and plumbing leaks.
- Provide enough ventilation for your house.
- Use mold-killing products while cleaning bathrooms.
- If absorbent materials like carpet become moldy, they should be removed.
- Cleaning frequently keeps mold to a minimum.
- Do not paint moldy surfaces without cleaning up the mold and drying the surface.19
Cleaning up the mold in your home is the first thing you should do. These are a few ways to do it:
- Remove mold growth from hard surfaces using soap and water.
- You can also use a bleach solution.
- Take less than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water to remove the mold. Remember, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners as it produces toxic fumes.20
- Make sure that the windows and doors are open while you use bleach.
- Also, wear protective gloves and eye mask.
If you are worried about mold exposure from your workplace and the symptoms associated with it, you should consult an occupational health clinic.
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Use A Humidity Monitor
Lastly, put up a humidity monitor in your home. This will let you know if the humidity levels are within a healthy range. By watching over the humidity level, you can prevent your home from being a breeding ground of black molds.
On average, the ideal humidity level for household settings is 30% to 50%. Once it goes beyond 55%, your home becomes an ideal place for mold growth. This is what you need to avoid.
A humidity monitor will keep an eye on the moisture level. This way, you can act fast to fix leaks and remove other sources of dampness.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Mold Exposure
As you kill the mold and there are less organisms in your body, you will start to feel better. It took my husband six months to become free and clear of mold while it took me a year and a half. Even though I am currently back on my detox regimen due to a new mold exposure, which is another story, I feel good.
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What If I Dont See Any Mold
Unfortunately, just because you dont see mold doesnt mean that it isnt there. Mold is an expert at hiding in the places you cant see. It can live behind drywall, in the ceiling, in your ventilation, and even in your homes insulation. Regardless of where it lives, if you have mold growing in your home, its spores will be airborne. Being constantly exposed to those in the air that you breathe can have many negative effects on your health.
Side Effects Of Breathing Mold And Mildew
The quality of the air you breathe is vital for your well-being. There are thousands of microbial contaminants in the air that may pose health hazards. Fungi, which are ubiquitous in distribution are one such grave threat to your health in indoor environments. Molds are the most common forms of fungi found on earth. And mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. They reproduce through the formation of spores, which are tiny microscopic cells that float through the air. These mild spores are not always dangerous. We are exposed to them daily, both indoors and outdoors.
Outdoors, molds take part in the decomposition of organic matter such as dead trees, compost, and leaves. But, when they land on a moist surface indoors, they may grow, posing dangers. Molds survive and grow in warm, humid, and damp conditions.1 So, usually they are found in places such as basements or showers where there is high humidity. They also grow on cardboard, wood products, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, paint, and paper products.
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Is It Safe To Clean Black Mold Yourself
If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.
How Is Aspergillosis Treated
Treatment options include oral corticosteroids, antifungal medications, and surgery.
- Oral corticosteroid drugs: Solid or liquid oral medications may be prescribed to treat allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. These drugs reduce inflammation and prevent respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, from getting worse. Some of the most commonly used drugs are prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone.
- Antifungal drugs: These medications are generally used to treat invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Voriconazole is currently the drug of choice because it causes fewer side effects and appears to be more effective than other medications. Amphotericin B or itraconazole are also effective in treating infection. Caspofungin is sometimes used in cases where the infection is resistant to the other antifungals. Antifungal drugs are sometimes used along with oral corticosteroids when treating ABPA. Antifungals can cause serious side effects, such as kidney and liver damage.
- Surgery: Surgery may be necessary in cases when aspergillomas are present and cause serious problems, such as excessive bleeding. Antifungal medications are usually not effective against aspergillomas, so surgery is recommended. Embolization may be an option to block blood flow to the artery supplying blood to the lung cavity where the fungus ball is located. This will stop the bleeding, but it may recur later.
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